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Ghana aim for hat-trick of wins

15 Jun 2014 19:32:14

Ghana aim for hat-trick of wins

Ghana will be looking to complete a hat-trick of World Cup wins over the United States when the sides meet in Group G on Monday.

The teams have been paired in the last three tournaments, with the Black Stars winning 2-1 in Germany and South Africa.

But the USA come into the 2014 edition with greater confidence having reached number 13 in the FIFA rankings and topped CONCACAF's qualifying sector with ease.

Victory this time would not only erase some of that past pain but also provide a solid base for Jurgen Klinsmann's side as they attempt to pip group favourites Germany and Portugal to a place in the last 16.

Ghana's John Mensa, who played in the 2010 win over Monday's opponents as a late call-up, acknowledges the previous games between the two sides will add an extra edge to their meeting in Natal.

"It's going to be like a revenge [match] for the United States, because we beat the United States in 2006 and we beat them in 2010," Mensah told FIFA.com.

"Once again we're playing them in the first game. For the first game of the competition, everybody is focused and nervous, so it's going to make the game very, very interesting.

"Everybody will be expecting something from Ghana and from the United States as well.

"It's a difficult game, but we'll try as much as possible to win."

USA coach Klinsmann has courted debate with his decision to omit the country's record goalscorer Landon Donovan from the squad.

Donovan is a fans' favourite and has been hired to commentate on his former's team-mates on US television, providing a potentially distracting sub-plot, but full-back Fabian Johnson is fully behind the boss.

Johnson has a natural affinity with the German having been born in Munich and switched his allegiance in 2011

"I am half-American and half-German. It (playing for the USA) was partly because of Jurgen Klinsmann," he told ESPN.

"He's just an incredibly ambitious coach. He wants to make every single player better."

Johnson has high hopes for what his side can achieve in Brazil - provided they can get past Ghana.

He added: "There are no pushovers in this group. It is a strong and even group. Should we beat Ghana, a lot is possible."


PA

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